One of the most beautiful villages of France

The quality of this site’s heritage and architecture, and of its urban and environmental planning, have earned the “Pearl of Maine” the distinction of becoming Mayenne’s top listed village.

  • Sainte-Suzanne vue du tertre Ganne

    Sainte-Suzanne vue du tertre Ganne

    © Photo : Dominique Vernier

  • Sainte-Suzanne - Randonnée au Tertre Ganne

    Sainte-Suzanne - Randonnée au Tertre Ganne

    © Photo : Jean-Charles Druais

  • Sainte-Suzanne

    Sainte-Suzanne

    © Photo : Dominique Vernier

  • Sainte-Suzanne

    Sainte-Suzanne

    © Photo : Dominique Vernier

  • Sainte-Suzanne

    Sainte-Suzanne

    © Photo : Dominique Vernier

  • Sainte-Suzanne

    Sainte-Suzanne

    © Photo : Dominique Vernier

  • Sainte-Suzanne

    Sainte-Suzanne

    © Photo : Dominique Vernier

  • Sainte-Suzanne

    Sainte-Suzanne

    © Photo : Dominique Vernier

A medieval citadel with a glorious past
From the heights of its promontory and with all the authority of its ten centuries of history, Sainte Suzanne dominates the Erve valley. Its 14th- and 15th-century ramparts have remained almost intact and provide impressive views of the Coëvron Hills and the Charnie Forest.
The ramparts, the drawbridge and the Renaissance château built by Fouquet de la Varenne, one of Henry IV’s ministers, have now been returned to their former glory by restoration work carried out over a period of several years.
The château is open all year round and a variety of themed visits are organised inside the fortress.
It’s fun to follow the little backstreets that will take you all around the town and beyond, and explore the many walking trails.

The Beugi Camp, known as the “English Camp”
William the Conqueror, in his conquest of Maine, captured the fortresses of Le Mans, Fresnay and Beaumont, but was never able to take Sainte-Suzanne, which was held by the Viscount of Maine, Hubert II de Beaumont. So he decided to lay siege to it, and built a fortified camp at the place known as Beugi, 800 metres from the keep. But Hubert II triumphantly held the fort, and Sainte-Suzanne has gone down in the History of England as the only castle that the Conqueror himself never managed to conquer.
Recently, the Beugi Camp has been awarded the European “Outstanding Earth Architecture” classification.

Tertre Ganne, the “wooded hill”
Drive or walk up to the Tertre Ganne, a rocky hilltop facing the fortress, where you will have a magnificent view over the citadel.
For walkers, there is a steep footpath leading up to it.
This is the starting point for many way-marked walks.

The Erves Dolmen
The Erves Dolmen, one of the most famous megalithic monuments in Mayenne, is 3 kilometres from Sainte-Suzanne.
Recent archaeological digs have enabled its origins to be dated to between 5 and 6 centuries BCE, making this the oldest monument in Mayenne. The dolmen consists of a four-sided chamber, in front of which is a portico. Human bones have been found there.

Centre for Interpretation of Architecture and Heritage
Conversion of the living-quarters of Sainte-Suzanne Château into the Centre for Interpretation of Architecture and Heritage required major alterations. A modern extension has been added in order to facilitate public access.
The Centre is dedicated to Mayenne’s heritage as a whole, in all its forms, but has a special focus on the Coëvrons-Mayenne area which, in 2005, was officially declared a Region of Art and History.

The Court-Room Museum
The Court-Room Museum (Musée de l'Auditoire) is housed in the former 17th century court-room and tells the story of Sainte-Suzanne, from the Middle Ages to the Revolution, with the help of mock-ups and authentic items including a 15th century metal suit of armour, the oldest of its kind in Europe.

More info

  • Laurent Blohorn
  • Pays de la Loire Small Towns of Character
  • 2 rue Mélusine
  • 85 240 Foussais Payre
  •  +33 (0)6.70.26.08.62
  • E-mail
  • Website

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